Leinbach and Bro., a Reading, Pennsylvania clothing store, gave away “complimentary” Altemus published books as early as 1893 and as late as 1915.
These books included two Leinbach ads (one in front and one in the back) on glossy paper. A number of them are shown here: http://henryaltemus.com/ephemera/leinbach.htm.
The ads differed from year to year. Here is a 1913 Non-Series book (http://henryaltemus.com/images/NS_95.jpg) which has ads that are from after 1915.
This book is dated as a 1913 book by using the ads in the back. Five Automobile Girls Series books are listed (#5 was published in 1913) but Dave Darren #1 is not listed (It was published in1914). The front ad however notes that the company which was founded in 1865 has been in business for more than fifty years. Thus the earlier 1913 book has ads from after 1915.
The front ad has the picture of the Leinbach building and a little blurb about the company. The back ad makes some claims about the clothing.
Neither of these ads have been seen before. The second ad’s text has been previously shown but not with the exact border decoration.
Here is an advertising flyer found today in a 1911-1912 Young People’s Library Format 3 book. This little two page flyer (6 x 3.25) is quite typical for the ads that Altemus placed in books for their publications. As I have noted before, I believe Altemus printed advertising flyers for most of its books/series. These pieces however are very difficult to find. The ones discovered so far are shown here: http://henryaltemus.com/flyers/flyers.htm.
This series was published from 1915 until Altemus stopped publishing.
In 1931 Little Black Sambo was added to the three book series. The new book for the database is 8.5 by 6.25.
The front cover has an applique on its entirety. This is the second Black Sambo I have seen in this series. The other is slightly smaller (8.25 x 6.25) and has a cloth cover. It is also shown below.
Both of these books were copyrighted by Howard E. Altemus in 1931. There is a David McKay published reprint of this book which was published after 1935. It has the same format as the Altemus book with the applique cover but is 8.75 x 6.25. That may mean that the cloth book below preceded the applique Altemus book.
There is a dealer (who shall remain nameless) who insists his David McKay copy of Little Black Sambo is the first “large size copy” of this title. “RARE FIRST LARGE EDITION PRINTING, after original American small format edition from Altemus Publishing”. Presently he is listing this copy for $200+ on Ebay. He has been presented with information about the earlier large Altemus books but chooses to ignore it. Hopefully no uninformed buyer will purchase his overpriced reprint.
Q: Hello, I’ve purchased an old Edgar Allan Poe book called Weird Tales. It is small hardback, measuring 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. It has a copyright date of 1895 by Henry Altemus, Philadelphia. The cover has a picture and it also has a floral pattern & the title pressed into the cover. I wanted to know more about the book, but haven’t been able to find this particular book when doing searches on the internet. Can you tell me anything about this edition of the book?
A: Your book was published as part of the Vademecum Series in 1901. See http://henryaltemus.com/series/series180.htm.
The picture is from #5 and #18 seen here: http://henryaltemus.com/vademecum.htm.
This book originally came in a labeled box and is a reprint.
This series of six books was published between 1918 and 1930. Initially between 1918 and 1925 the first three books were part of the Wee Books for Wee Folks Series.
See: http://henryaltemus.com/series/series186.htm. In 1928 the first three books were added to book #4 Little Black Sambo and the Monkey People to make up the Little Black Sambo Series.
See: http://henryaltemus.com/series/series123.htm. In 1930 the last two books of the series were published and this six volume series was complete.
Today I am adding to the database a picture of the last dust jacketed book in the series-Little Black Sambo and the Crocodiles. The other jacketed books are also shown below.
||Little Black Sambo
||Little Black Sambo and the Baby Elephant
||Little Black Sambo and the Tiger Kitten
||Little Black Sambo and the Monkey People
||Little Black Sambo in the Bear’s Den
||Little Black Sambo and the Crocodiles
Q: I haven’t been able to find a representation of the cover on my copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Based on the signature on the inside cover dated 1897, I am assuming the book is one of the early publishings.
Will you help me determine the value of my book?
A: Your book is an 1897 publication from the Beauxarts Series. (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series47.htm). All of the books in this publisher’s series are reprints of fiction, poetry, essays, etc.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published by numerous publishing houses in the 1880′s and 1890′s. Most of these editions are quite common without any distinguishing features.
This Altemus reprint is quite common and generally sells for less than $25 if it sells at all.
Q: Can you tell me the printing date for this book by Charles Dickens? The Cricket On The Hearth. PIC. Attached. I would also like to know if this is a common book or if I should store it for safe keeping.
A: Your book can be found here: http://henryaltemus.com/series/series69.htm. The 76 books of this series are all reprints.
Without the dust jacket I can only estimate the book’s printing to be between 1907-1915.
It is relatively common and has very little value.
Q: Hi, I recently found this old copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Emerson’s Essays (First Series) and I cannot seem to find it on your website. According to the first page it was printed in Philadelphia by Henry Altemus in 1892 and I was just wondering if you had any information on it.
Attached is a scan of the cover.
Thank you for your time.
A: Your book is pictured as #6 on this page. http://henryaltemus.com/series/series37.htm. The Altemus Library was Altemus’ first “publisher’s series”. All 41 books are reprints of various works of fiction, poetry, essays, etc. Interestingly, it is the only publisher’s series in which each book has a different cover design.
Since your book is a reprint and in poor shape, it has only nominal value.
Q: I was looking through your website for a book I found at a thrift store, and I could not find anything that matched it exactly. It is very similar to the 1901-1902 Mucha publisher’s series, but the woman on the front is different. It is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Snow Image and Other Twice Told Tales. I have included two pictures. I just thought is was a really pretty book to have for 5 dollars, and I am just curious of it’s origins. There is no publishing date on it, thought it does have “Christmas Greetings” written in pen and ink with a date of 1902 on it.
A: Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series. This series consisted of reprints of poetry, classics, essays, fiction, etc.
Your book can be found in the 1901-1902 books here: http://henryaltemus.com/series/series143.htm
Also here is a little blog entry: http://henryaltemus.com/about/updates5.htm#a10
Alphonse Mucha was the artist who painted this picture. It is called Poetry. This year’s Petit Trianon books also included another Mucha illustration- Lady with Rose.
Your book cover is slightly different from the one in the database. See below.
This nine book series which was first published in 1918 came in a labeled box. Interestingly the box cover does not match the book cover but rather uses a cover decoration seen in several other series. As has been noted previously, it is likely that every Altemus published book came originally with a dust jacket or in a box. Here is another example.